ATARI AND VIRTUALITY PREVIEW FIRST VIRTUAL REALITY GAME SYSTEM FOR THE CONSUMER MARKET AT E3
LOS ANGELES, May 16, 1995 — The Jaguar VR, the world's first fully immersive virtual reality game system for the consumer market, was unveiled at E3. It is being developed jointly by Atari Corporation , developer of the world's first 64-bit game system, and VIRTUALITY Group PLC, the global market leader in VR systems.
The Jaguar VR incorporates VIRTUALITY's revolutionary new VR head-mounted display (HMD) and optional track joystick, offering unequaled display, audio, and tracking features. Atari's Jaguar VR sets an impressive industry standard for home virtual reality systems and has been designed with the highest international health and safety regulations in mind.
According to Sam Tramiel, President of Atari, "There is not one consumer VR product that can compete with the Jaguar in terms of price, performance and quality. The Jaguar VR has been designed with human factors in mind and sets the standard for the industry to follow. We are committed to delivering great experiences and entertainment."
The proprietary, ergonomic HMD weighs less than 1 pound and easily adjusts to comfortably fit users, with or without glasses. It features a custom-designed optical pupil projection system and a full-color active matrix LCD screen. In addition, the HMD's 3D spatialized sound system has been enhanced by placing speakers at the player's temple, with sound projected back to the ears allowing for peripheral hearing. A built-in microphone allows networked players to talk with each other. A docking station, which links the Atari Jaguar system to the HMD and joystick, houses the technologically advanced "V-Trak" infrared tracking. This is the fastest tracker ever developed for consumer application, reacting to real-time head and hand movements with no perceptible lag time in the virtual world.
In addition, Jaguar VR is designed to be used only when a player is sitting with the unit stationary on a flat surface. If a player attempts to walk around while immersed in the game, an automatic cutoff will be triggered. Players who own an Atari Jaguar will be able to upgrade by plugging Jaguar VR into their existing system. The Jaguar VR has a targeted retail price of $300.
Jaguar VR Software Development
Through a software licensing agreement, VIRTUALITY is developing immersive virtual reality games for the Atari Jaguar VR. Atari's classic home and arcade hit "Missile Command" is being recreated in VR format by VIRTUALITY and will be available by the end of the year. In addition, the popular VIRTUALITY arcade title "Zone Hunter" will also be available for Jaguar VR with the system introduction. Discussions are also underway with a number of third-party developers for the creation of future games that take advantage of this unique technology to create new experiences.
"The combination of Jaguar's 64-bit graphics processing power and our IVR technology has produced a phenomenal, fully integrated VR consumer product which has no competition," said Jon Waldern, CEO of VIRTUALITY Group PLC. "This system expands the boundaries of the in-home interactive games market and sets a new standard for others to try to achieve."
Founded in 1987 in Leicester, England, VIRTUALITY Group PLC. is the world's leader in immersive virtual reality entertainment systems worth more than 80 percent global market share. VIRTUALITY Entertainment, Inc., headquartered in Irving, Texas, was established in 1993 as the U.S.-based subsidiary to oversee all North American operations, sales, market development and distribution for its parent company.
Atari has been in the video game business for over twenty years. Today, Atari markets Jaguar, the only American made, advanced 64-Bit entertainment system. Atari Corporation is located in Sunnyvale, Calif.